Virender Sehwag's shots are often so audacious that when they don't come off, they are termed rash and a debate is started whether one of Indian cricket's impact players was guilty of taking undue risk.
The opening day of the first Test was no different as the explosive opener, having
started watchfully and given the hosts a brilliant start by scoring his first century in two years, eventually lost concentration, attempting a sweep against Graeme Swann's off-break which kept low, to be clean bowled.
Did he pay the price for playing too risky a shot when he could have gone on to pile a big total? Former India openers, Navjot Sidhu and Arun Lal, rejected the criticism and the impression he takes too many risks.
“Almost everyone will say Sehwag takes more risks. But that's not true. 'Risk' is not an absolute term. It differs from person to person, situation to situation. And that is the case with Sehwag,” said Arun Lal.
He added: “Sehwag plays differently. People may think he is taking a risk by playing shots, but that's not the case. That is the way he plays, and playing your natural game is not a risk.”
Sidhu credited Sehwag for changing the game with his aggressive approach. “He remains fearless whatever the situation. He will hit the very first ball of a Test for a boundary if it turns out to be a loose delivery. He will never change his approach no matter what the situation is.”
Arun Lal said: “Sehwag's aggression is fearlessness, not foolhardiness.”
Sidhu said, “He started his Test career batting at No. 6 but is now the second most successful India opener, after Gavaskar”.